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How do I cook healthy organic food?

Organic food materials are preferred by some of the best chefs in the world, who argue that food grown using natural farming methods brings out the best in any dish cooked using them. Fresh organic products are more nutritious and flavorful, adding these qualities to the meal they prepare. Organic food materials are perceived as being more environmentally friendly because they do not contribute to land or water pollution.

A meal cooked with organic ingredients is more nutritious and tasteful than conventional food items grown using pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals not only enter your food as toxins; they also erode the very quality of these items by exposing them to chemicals such as Urea, sodium benzoate, and sulfites, which can lead to a sour or metallic taste in foods like soft drinks and dried fruit.

Some farmers use chemicals such as ethylene gas, which makes the fruits ripen before their time. This chemical can give food items a deceiving colour and texture before they are ready to be consumed. Common fertilizers like Urea and pesticides are known to have carcinogenic effects. Organic farming avoids these methods and grows your food in a chemical-free environment.

We must know how to get the most out of our organic food items and prepare a nutritious and delicious meal.

Here we list six vital cooking and handling methods to maintain the nutritional advantage of organic produce.

Use fresh ingredients

People generally lose track of their food materials and store them longer than the item's rotting and decay timespan. Each food item has a different shelf life and must be handled with specific guidelines. These guidelines can be about the item's temperature, location, and air requirements.

When you follow these instructions, you also prolong the shelf life of these items by providing them with the right temperature, moisture, and air. Proper methods allow your food to stay fresh longer than it occasionally does.

To be able to prepare a good meal, you must retain the freshness and quality of the ingredients.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your organic food materials stay fresh and safe to eat, and you can get the most nutritional benefits from your food.

  • Source the organic produce fresh from reliable vendors. The shorter the transportation time from farm to kitchen, the healthier your dish is made from it.

  • Store grains, flour, beans, and other dried goods in a cold and dry place.

  • You need to keep your ripe and unripe food items separate. Ripe fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas, which can speed up the ripening process of other produce. Keeping them separately prevents over-ripening.

  • Plan your meals and recipes around what you have to ensure that nothing goes to waste.

  • Your fridge, countertops, and utensils must be kept clean and organized to prevent mould growth and bacteria, which accelerate ripening and decaying.

Organic food is focused on providing you with a healthier diet. Organic food materials don't go through a chemically involved preservative process. If handled properly, these food materials can stay sound. Hence, you must keep your vegetables fresh and use them when they're fit or at their best.

Avoid unhealthy ingredients.

It's crucial to switch to organic foods when committing to healthy eating habits and to commit to cooking using nutritious components.

Although organic stores attempt to provide you with a wide range of nutritious food options, not all cooking ingredients can be purchased there. Specific components, such as oils and spices, can be nasty for one's health when ingested in excess. Trans fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and preservatives should all be consumed in moderation to maintain a healthy diet.

While you already make a wise choice to choose organic food items that eliminate any preservatives in your food. The next step is to limit or eliminate other harmful elements like oil, spices, sugars, and salt. You can choose to switch to healthier alternatives or limit your consumption.

An increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other health issues has been related to excessive use of these substances.

Reading food labels and being mindful of ingredient lists can help you make informed food decisions.

Pro tips to limit the use of unnecessary ingredients in our cooking

  • Using non-stick cookware can reduce your requirement for oils, butter etc.

  • Avoid oils and prefer non-greasy natural liquids (e.g. stock, wine, lemon juice, fruit juice, vinegar or water) instead of oil.

  • Instead of sour creams, salted butter and bottled sauces, try using pesto, chutneys and vinegar.

  • Use reduced-fat yoghurt and milk, evaporated skim milk or corn starch instead of cream in sauces or soups.

  • Instead of deep fry or pan-frying, try dehydrating and crisping the vegetables on the pan or in a microwave and then spraying a little oil. This drastically reduces the amount of oil absorbed by vegetables while cooking.

  • Prefer dishes that are steamed or boiled to dishes that are pan-fried or deep-fried. (e.g. Idlis and mashed potatoes vs pooris and french fries)

Avoid unhealthy cooking methods.

Your cooking methods vary depending on the recipe you're going to follow. While the ingredients are essential to meal preparation, the cooking technique can also significantly impact the dish's health.

For instance, grilling and barbecue are well-liked cooking techniques that can give your dish a distinctive flavour and texture. While these techniques might appeal to our taste buds, they lead to a loss of nutrients and may pose serious health hazards in the long run.

Grilling and barbecuing use high temperatures for cooking, which can cause the formation of harmful compounds in your food, like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Deep-frying is another unhealthy cooking technique that can cause health issues. The excessive intake of deep-fried foods has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health issues, even though this technique is well-liked and can result in excellent meals. Thus, it is crucial to restrict the amount of deep-fried food one eats.

Overcooking destroys some nutrients in your food. E.g. overcooking or overheating breaks down vitamin C. The longer you cook, the more chemical reactions are possible and deterioration in the physical properties of the food item.

Draining Water: We often throw away the water in which we boil rice, noodles, vegetables etc. Similarly, cutting vegetables, peeling vegetables, and then washing them leads to a leaching effect that wastes nutrients from your organic food items. We should avoid draining that water. First, washing the fruits and vegetables and then peeling or slicing them is a healthier choice.

Take care of hygiene.

It is essential to take care of hygiene while cooking. As a result of improper cleanliness practices, our health may suffer if dangerous chemicals and microorganisms contaminate our meals. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain good cleanliness while preparing meals.

  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water before and after handling food is one of the essential components of maintaining hygiene when cooking. This routine is especially crucial for managing batters and creating dough, which involves taking your food by hand.

  • Keep your kitchen clean and sanitize your countertops & utensils after each use to prevent dirt and germs from accumulating & contaminating your food. It is suggested to clean everything with hot, soapy water or an organic cleaner to eliminate germs and dirt.

  • While storing your food, take care to cover it adequately to prevent any contamination.

  • Avoid touching your face or hair while cooking.

You can ensure your food is wholesome and safe by adhering to these rules and practicing good hygiene while cooking.

Use clean water

Water is used in almost every cooking step, including washing fruits and vegetables and preparing soups and stews. However, using water infected with dangerous bacteria or chemicals like chlorine or fluoride can harm your family's health.

From minor stomach pain to fatal bacterial infections, drinking contaminated water can result in several diseases. You should use warm water while cleaning your kitchenware and countertops to eradicate any leftover bacteria or other dangerous microorganisms effectively, avoiding any potential food contamination.

Additionally, the flavour and texture of the finished food are directly influenced by the water quality used during cooking. Using clean, purified water without the use of chemicals gives your food a unique natural aroma and flavour.

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